York man subjected ex-partner to campaign of harassment and stalking

York Magistrates' Court. Photograph: Richard McDougall
3 Jun 2015 @ 3.39 pm
| Crime

He stalked his ex-partner and subjected her to a prolonged and distressing campaign of harassment.

Now Gordon Raymond Bell, of Nunnery Lane, York, has been sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.

The 38-year-old was found guilty of stalking Anna Hemmingfield (nee Fenton), 34, of York, following a trial at York Magistrates’ Court last month (May 2015).

During a campaign between November 23 and December 1, 2013, Bell sent Anna a series of text messages, stalked her at her home address and in the streets of York, and followed her then new partner from York to his house in Leeds where he threatened him.

Support worker witness

What police described as his “alarming and distressing behaviour” towards Anna was witnessed first-hand by a support worker from IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Support). This is a York-based charity which provides support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The support worker was in Anna’s home when Bell telephoned her. Anna switched the speaker phone on allowing him to be heard.

Even after being arrested and questioned by the police, Bell went straight to Anna’s place of work where he walked past the window causing her further alarm and distress.

On Tuesday (June 2) magistrates sentenced Bell. As well as the suspended prison stretch, he was given a supervision order and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community service and pay costs.

A retraining was also granted by the court against Bell to protect his victim, and he is required to complete a “building better relationships course”.

‘Trauma can be devastating’

Police worked alongside IDAS through the investigation to secure the conviction of Bell.

Detective Constable Tracey Pearson, from the York Investigation Hub, said:

I pay tribute to Anna who has remained strong and focused throughout the distressing criminal justice process.

The outcome of this case demonstrates once again that victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment are believed and fully supported by North Yorkshire Police and our partner agencies such as IDAS.

We take all reports of domestic abuse very seriously and recognise the psychological and emotional trauma suffered by victims, which can be utterly devastating.

Det Con Pearson urged other people who had suffered like Anna to contact police and talk to an officer specialising in domestic abuse.

“We are here to help and will provide professional, sensitive support every step of the way. Please don’t suffer this terrible abuse in silence.”

north-yorkshire-police-logo-25How to contact police

Call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room
Or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
f you feel threatened or require emergency assistance, always dial 999
More advice available on the police domestic abuse page

A spokeswoman from IDAS said:

We are pleased that this stalking and harassment case is over for the victim and she can move on with her life free from fear.

Stalking and harassment has a hugely detrimental effect on victims’ lives and is often under-reported.

Contact IDAS

IDAS website

[email protected]

Domestic abuse helpline 03000 110 110

Rape support line: 0300 111 0777

York refuge 01904 646630

York outreach 01904 646036